What is the only fruit that is served in all Nintendo offices? Iwata-melons!
What is the official mobile phone of Nintendo? Why it’s the Miyamoto-rola!
Everyone loves a good joke, but poor jokes can ruin friendships, destroy souls, and bring civilizations to the ground. Maybe a slight exaggeration there, but seriously, no one likes a rubbish joke. Building an entire game around what is essentially a joke was a big risk, and one that Coffee Stain Studios took with Goat Simulator – fortunately for them, it seems to have paid off.
As you have probably guessed: you play as a goat, but this is no ordinary goat. This goat has the ability to stick objects to its tongue to carry them around, or be carried, and has a head that appears to be made of steel. It can also do flips whilst air born and can make every bone and muscle in its body limp at the press of a button. A true simulation of goat-life this is not, but would anyone want to play that?
Once in the game you are free to explore the relatively small open world. Fancy taking a trip to Coffee Stain Studios HQ? Go for it. Or does heading to a diving platform sound like more of your thing? You can do that as well. Despite being small, the world is densely packed, and discovering a new location instantly fills your mind with awesome things to do. Executing these ideas is where Goat Simulator comes into its own.
Disappointingly, the small open world can be seen in its entirety within 30 or so minutes, and discovering most of the hidden extras will only take a few hours. Anyone hoping for days of fun will certainly be disappointed as Goat Simulator runs out of ideas after three or four hours at best.
The comedy value on offer during the short playtime is unrivaled by any other game, however. There are no scripted laughs as such, but the potential for hilarious antics is always present. The world does a good job of guiding you into funny situations, but often the biggest laughs come from messing up what you were trying to do.
Missions and a score system add some form of structure to the game, but neither really warrant too much attention. You will mostly accomplish the challenges through normal play, and getting a high score was the least of my worries when playing. I’m sure some will appreciate them for the replay factor but personally I didn’t really pay attention to them.
Unfortunately, Goat Simulator is one of the most unpolished games I have ever played. Bugs are present and have been intentionally left in for comedic effect, but they prove to be somewhat of an annoyance (it is worth noting that all crash bugs have been removed). Getting under the map isn’t uncommon as the goat’s neck is disturbingly flexible and the walking animations make the goat look like it is hovering over the ground. These could be seen as minor issues, or even funny ones, but personally I found them irritating.
VERDICT: Providing that you are in on the joke, you are almost guaranteed to have a good time – albeit only for a few hours a best. Running around as a goat is something I never imagined I wanted to do, but it turns out it’s incredibly fun. The bugs and general lack of polish do have a negative effect on the game and the short playtime will have some questioning whether it’s worth the asking price. But if you are looking for a couple of hours of fun with a lot of laughs, you cant go wrong with Goat Simulator.
GOOD. A game that scores 7/10 is worthy of note, but unworthy of fanfare. It does many things well, but only a few of them incredibly well and, despite a handful of good qualities, fresh ideas and solid mechanics, it fails to overwhelm.
Review code provided by publisher.